Olympique Marseille have turned down a bid of 28 million euros from Chelsea for striker Didier Drogba, but the French club admitted that there remains a possibility that they might be forced to cash in on their most-prized asset.

“Chelsea made their offer yesterday (Tuesday) and we declined it not because we are greedy but because it’s a very complex case,” Marseille chairman Christophe Bouchet told L’Equipe on Wednesday.

“Chelsea’s offer is very honourable and they behaved like gentlemen.”

Bouchet told L’Equipe that the case was “complex” because he had “to take into account Marseille’s financial problems, the need to replace Drogba and his wish to stay at Marseille for another season.”

The Ivory Coast international scored 18 goals in 35 league games and 11 goals in the 16 European matches.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said earlier this week he was keen to sign Drogba, if Argentinian international Hernan Crespo opted to leave Stamford Bridge.

“What I can say is that Didier Drogba is one of the best strikers in Europe…I feel he needs a better club and a better league to show what he really is,” Mourinho told Chelsea’s website.

“So he can become a good option if in the next days we decide about Hernan.”